Festival, festivals, festivals

Patrick Gale

I’m at the beginning of my festival season. I’ve already done lovely events at Beverley Literature Festival, and am at the beginning of two weeks of sprinting around Ilkley [more of a measured walk actually] from venue to venue hosting fascinating events from Bog Bodies Uncovered with Mirando Aldhouse-Green all the way through to an ‘in conversation’ with crime writer M.C. Beaton. I’m also popping into the Sheffield’s Off The Shelf festival to run a writing workshop.

If you are going to any of the book events in Yorkshire in Beverley, Ilkley or Sheffield you will have a wonderful time, and perhaps even get a keener taste for live literature.

Novelist Patrick Gale recently contacted me about the marvellous North Cornwall Book Festival, which he chairs. It happens at the end of October in Endellion in a gorgeous part of the country. It may be that you are tempted to scamper down to Cornwall to enjoy the intimacy of this three year old festival, and its compelling programme of writers. I believe there are lovely cakes, and probably ale…..


Hen’s Teeth – Cinema Stories


Getting a new collection published can sometimes feel as rare as hen’s teeth, whatever they are. There was after all a gap of nine years between Coma Songs and Some Things Matter. If novelist friends are publishing every year, perhaps every two or three for the more heavy-weight ones, Cinema Stories, only three years after Some Things Matter, feels like falling into a rhythm, or a more regular bus service.

Part of it is having the miraculous Valley Press as my publisher with Jamie McGarry at the helm, whose design and editing skills are impeccable.

Part of it this time was having Matthew Hedley Stoppard on board as my fellow poet in this collection where we share our poetic responses to film and the glorious cinematic heritage of Leeds. It’s tested me and put me on my mettle to work with such a good poet as Matthew, whose capacity for daring and experimentation spurred me on.

I think it’s also been a brilliant topic to explore, again Matthew’s idea, and the coming together of two of my passions, cinema and poetry, has been very fruitful.

Cinema Stories is being launched as part of 29th Leeds International Film Festival at 7pm on Tuesday 10th November at Leeds Town Hall.